By Randy Brown, E.D. Friends of Riverdale Park West, (frpw.org) I’m sure everyone has noticed the renovated pathways in our park – the main pathways are now concrete. This project didn’t just happen. It was started some eight years ago when the Art & Crafts which I founded 30 years ago, saw that the pathways were deteriorating. Of course, for our show the pathways are crucial – some 20,000 people stroll along them over the three days of the sale. So we donated $5,000 towards getting the paths fixed. We also approved the selling of engraved bricks for $100 & $150 to support the project.
The park supervisor for much of this was Mark Hawkins. He got our first pathway done, from Winchester and Sumach to the farm, plus a patio in front of the farm gates ringed by our bricks. And then he did the second pathway, from Carlton and Sumach to the center of the park. This is a huge credit to Mark and to Parks.
Last fall the City decided to redo the wading pool and held a public meeting. The manager of the project said the path from the end of Carlton to the center of the park would be asphalt. All of those present, including our Councillor Luicy Troisi, insisted on concrete and he conceded. Now the worst pathway in the park was fixed. But for budgetary reasons, the lower pathway had to be done cheaply so it was done in a type of gravel.
All that remained was the pathway from the centre of the park up to Winchester and Sumach. Without anyone even asking them (to my amazement) the construction crew tore up the old pathway and poured new concrete This final touch was an act of pure generosity from Parks.
Of course the main push came from all those hundreds of generous citizens who paid $100 or $150 for an engraved brick. The money raised kept this project alive every year, as Parks placed the bricks each fall. Parks was reminded again and again that our community supported this pathway project. However, Parks did not take any money for this last task, and there is some $26,000 in the account ready for new heritage lighting such as in Allen Gardens.
WE STILL HAVE BRICKS – get a form from frpw.org!
With cooperation from Parks, the generosity of the donors and the management of the Art & Crafts, we have made a permanent improvement to our community.